Gain weight with bentos

ginger
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 22 weeks ago.

I know lots of people use bentos as a healthy and tasty way of losing weight, and I think that's great. But some of us have the opposite problem, we need to put weight on (don't be jealous, it aint good!). Ok so I could make one HUGE bento or just go to Mcdonalds instead, but seriously I can only eat so much and I want to do it healthily! Does anyone have any good ideas for putting weight on healthily with bentos?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
RVM
Re: Gain weight with bentos

About two years ago I started eating sushi daily as part of my workout routine and it helped me gain weight (muscle). If your diet is low in protein it will be easy to gain weight in fat (which isn't always bad. Internal organs use it for protection and it helps regulate body temperature.) I eat 6 times a day, about 2:30 hours apart.

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 1 week ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

mh..... that is a quite unusual problem. I think you can make two or more bentos to take with you and eat over the day. You don't have to use the low fat meat and can use oil and mayo more freely. If you avoid to bulky veggies with low calories you can get more calories in your box. But the portions will not get to big to eat in "one go". And gaining weight in this way will be much better than eating fast foot and chocolate.

____________________________________

Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!

mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 40 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

You might try increasing the ratio of carbohydrate in your bento --I would love to eat two fat yummy onigiri but often stick to one, but you could, if you like rice, increase that part. The nice thing about onigiri is that they're a dense & compact food which can be made extra tasty with things which don't take up much space, like furikake. If you want to up the nutritional aspect, you can use one of the brown rices available --if they're not sticky enough for onigiri, you can make that nice pressed rice and then top it with various delicious things like soboro, etc.

And like Clarissa said, you can enjoy the healthful and delicious fats in food like avocado & nuts. A half cup of pecans has around 400 calories (don't ask me how I know that off the top of my head), and almonds are around the same. These and other nuts have wonderfully heart & health-promoting fats!

Sugary foods have a lot of disadvantages, even if they can be super caloric, so I'd still keep those to a minimum even if you can afford the calories. If you like & can eat dairy, puddings are a yummy & healthy way to get a bit of sweetness, some nice protein, lots of bone & tooth-friendly calcium and more good fat. And cheese! Oh, you can enjoy cheese a little more frequently than those of us trying to lose weight.

I can imagine it's difficult to be trying to gain weight in a healthy manner given our modern (and whack, imo) food environment. If you're interested in a perspective on nutrition which is somewhat different than the currently popular one (i.e., that all fat is bad, all meat is bad, etc.) I heartily recommend Sally Fallon's book _Nourishing Traditions_.

Good luck :-)

____________________________________

http://mosaica.wordpress.com

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 4 days 8 hours ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

I Am Not A Doctor or nutritionist/trainer, but If you have trouble eating large meals, you might consider having several small, relatively high-calorie and low density meals. Nuts are great, as are dried fruit. Having a single onigiri as a snack, yogurt with fruit, smoothies with protein, etc. Working out could also help build lean muscle mass and increase your weight. I think that it might be useful to keep a food diary too to see what you are eating - chances are it's not that healthy, the same as for people in the opposite situation.

____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

ginger
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

Hey thanks for all the great ideas! A little and often is definitely a good idea, which means planning my meals, which means getting organized with the bento planners. I'm not a fan of overly sweet stuff so onigiri, nuts, dried fruit and avocadoes are all good suggestions. I'm interested in the sushi > weight/muscle gain idea too, definitely worth a go. And yep, I kinda guess my diet was low in protein...well low in everything really...so I'll see what a food diary reveals!

Oh yeah, and I have a copy of Nourishing Traditions that I haven't looked at for years, but it has been a big influence on the way I cook ever since. Maybe I should give it a revisit.

roselette23
Bento-ing from: ATL › Georgia › USA
Joined: 19 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

I'm not trying to gain weight, but I don't want to lose any more. I take a mid-morning onigiri bento in addition to the lunch bento. Don't skimp on your protein, especially if you work out.

Balifly
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 22 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 4 days ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos
ginger wrote:

Does anyone have any good ideas for putting weight on healthily with bentos?

I have several tasty suggestions for you to consider, at least I find them tasty :)
1. Pirogies, with or with out sour cream
2. Cabbage rolls
3. Goulash
4. Potato salads ( hot or cold )
5. Bratwurst and sauerkraut ( any kind of sausage that you like )

Hearty and tasty !!!

Balifly

ginger
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

Thanks roselette. Still find it easy to skip meals or snack sometimes, but bentos are definitely helping.

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

oh, i know that problem! i'm skinny and i spend half my life annoyed by people calling me anorexic.
i tried lots of things to gain weight: eating exclusively fatty, unhealthy things and drinking nothing without sugar (or at least some fat) in it; forcing myself to substitute bread with cheese pizza for weeks, consuming large quantities of creamy dairy products and generally trying not to move around too much out of fear of burning precious calories.
nothing worked. i felt weak and sick and lost the last bit of my appetite. people kept telling me that i look horrible and encouraging me to do things that supposedly "make you fat", and i tried, and failed in gaining anything but headaches, and felt horrible for it. i didn't enjoy the "be fat"-lifestyle, but i was full of remorse whenever i felt i had "sinned" -not taken in enough or burned off too many calories. or accidentally buying a semifat product. or being unable to prefer burgers to yummy, low-fat vegetable stir-fry. stupid, huh? i still get that way sometimes. but- i had a relevation!
i've found a way for me to gain weight! and i don't even have to stuff myself on fastfood.
apparently, my body just "doesn't do" fat, so i tried gaining for one more time, about half a year ago- but this time concentrating on muscles. here's what helped me:

1. join a gym , get a moderate workout at least twice a week. start slow and never, ever go there without eating some protein food first. stay in the gym, work with the weights- swimming and running burn lots of calories. don't do that longer than 20 minutes. get your muscles to do short, hard exercise, the kind that makes you sweat quickly, but nothing that makes you loose your breath.
2. enjoy your food. don't force down that burger. accept being a picky eater- if you don't like what you have on your plate, get something else. never force yourself to eat it all, but try to eat something more later if you don't. try to eat something you like, whenever you feel like you could eat something right now. don't get distracted, do it. plan ahead to make it something healthy. yes, bentos are great!
3. don't skip too many meals. don't beat yourself up if it happens. keep food available at all times. hide nuts all over your habitat, like a squirrel..
4. think about the balance of your food. bentos focus on lean carbs, but for gaining muscles, you need lots of lean protein. i do less rice and more meaty stuff than the usual bento. i like chicken, tuna, cottage cheese, cheeses in general and tofu. salmon and eggs are always a good choice, too.
protein powder tastes horrible, try to have some anyway! i prever the vanilla kind, about two spoons mixed with half a small tub of quark (some german kind of curd cheese, like cottage cheese minus the bits and the salt. lots of protein!), a little water to make it creamy and any kind of non-artificial sweetener. tastes like custard (if you ignore the cheesy aftertaste, that is) and can be packed as dessert.
for drinking, the powder is best mixed with cherry juice. the natural sourness of the juice covers a lot of the whey taste, and it's quick to swallow if you're pressed for time.
5. try to cut out unhealthy fats and oils (those never put any weight on me, so why keep eating them?). i use as much healthy fat as possible- cold-pressed veggi oils mostly. and by saying "use as much as possible", i mean exactly that. double the dose in your salad sauce (yoyoyo! let's make a rap song..). and if you can fry it, do. i love fried tofu. never thought that stuff could actually taste good! i use lots of butter, too, because it's so tasty, but keep my hands off of store-bought mayonaise and processed fats.
6. i dislike carbs, i think they're boring. bento taught me to eat them anyway. i think maybe it's better to not eat plain (fat-and proteinfree) carbs for gaining anyway- the body uses a lot of energy changing them into body mass and will definitely gain weight faster by getting more protein than by increasing the percentage of carbs. plus, they fill you up more, and we don't want that- i enjoy getting hungry before having to eat. still, they are important- if i don't get enough of them, i get cranky. i found that onigiri are a great way of making them into interesting, easy-to-eat surprise packages. furikake helps a lot, too. both are good ways to add a little extra protein and good fat.
btw: thank you, maki, for all the furikake ideas, i love that dried-out-salmon-thing. i'm even trying my own combinations by now :)
same goes for gyoza, maultaschen, piroggi, minicalzone- carbs in small portions filled with anything nice go down much better than plain stuff.
7. peanut butter. on bread, in dips (1tsp pb, a little sriracha, a little lemon, a little soy sauce, a little hot water..nice with inarizushi) and sauces-pretty much anywhere i can put it.
8. avocados. i've come to love avocado-and-ham-sandwiches. and avocado-milkshakes! hmmm.. i have half an avocado every day now.
9. have a handfull of nuts every day.
10. tamagoyaki is pure protein and a good, quick bento filler. eggs in general are good- just boil them and pack salt or some condiment, if that's too boring, get a friend to draw or write on them for you with a pencil or make soysauce-eggs.
11. indulge in veggies even though they're low-calorie and have no protein to speak of, but add something good and fatty like olive oil, peanuts, coconut products or butter.
12. if you can't think of anything, grab some chicken breast, cut it up, marinate it with something miso-based and fry it in lots of butter. hmmm.

that's about it for now. i don't think it would work if i didn't go to the gym though. Im rather chiseled all over by now, ;) downside is, as soon as i stop training and eating conciously, i start losing weight again very quickly. i think that's because of the energy muscles consume just by existing, if i don't feed them properly, they vanish into thin air - 2kg within 2 days. luckily, i can put it back just as fast now. i guess i have to stay relaxed and disciplined and keep on training and eating. i'm kind of getting used to it and i really enjoy having an bmi of slightly-above-18-and-raising.
as with every diet, i sometimes drop back into the old eating habits. i guess it's more like a learning process- trying to work out what works for me. and i think this time it's really working.

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

A question - how old are you?

When I was in my 20s and 30s I was similarly skinny, and I used to eat a lot. When I hit my 40s though, I started to put on weight, and now that I'm in my 50s I have to be very careful what I eat. It really annoys me because my appetite is still as hearty as when I was a skinny 30 yr old, so I feel as though I starve myself just to stay a semi-reasonable weight - which is actually slightly heavier than I was at a healthy nine months pregnant!

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

me, i'm 30 now. i've always been skinny, i guess it's partly genes and partly my mother's rather terrible cooking-eating just wasn't something i enjoyed as a child and it's hard to build a habit when you get older.
i always though i was eating quite a lot when actually i wasn't, i didn't notice until i started adding up the calories for some weeks- i guess it's the same with most overweight people who claim they don't eat more than everyone else. my stomach simply feels full after a tiny, tiny meal. i'm content as soon as i'm no longer very hungry.
my mother was skinny like me and never ate much until she was around 50. now she's gained weight and complains about it. she says she eats exactly the same things, which is true, but i'd say she eats more of it- healthy portions, actually. it's just the difference of wether you eat a small amount of food with lots of butter in it with a hungry body or a bigger amount of food with still lots of butter in a body that is still satisfied from the last meal.

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

When I was younger I used to eat a lot of fatty stuff - butter and cheese and cream and related things are my big weakness, I can leave chocolate and sweets alone easily. Now I eat tiny portions of low fat food, I restrict myself to one loaf of bread per week - that I make myself from 1 cup of flour, so it's a tiny loaf - I try to fill myself up with high fibre food and things like spinach and broccoli, and still I struggle to stay under 70 kg (I'm 167 cm tall). When I was 30 I was about 50kg and used to regularly eat frankfurters smothered in melted cheese, my mashed potatoes were a sort of pale yellow from all the butter, and I used to put slices of butter on my bread instead of spreading it! Your metabolism changes when you get older, more's the pity.

rehfilet
Bento-ing from: › Germany
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

that's just how i used to eat!
i couldn't gain weight that way, too. when i counted the calories i realized that i simply wasn't getting enough out of my fatty diet- mainly because i just couldn't stomach the amounts of fatty foods necessary.
what i did then was train myself to eat "normal" amounts of food while aiming for healthy ingredients. it's easier to eat larger portions if there is more variety in every meal. it's also a lot healthier. a bad diet will make everybody feel sick and weak sooner or later. it's just as they taught us at school: a balanced diet is what's best for you.
to gain, i'd concentrate on healthy protein, both from meat and vegetables, a fair amount of veggies and at least one source of carbs with every meal- thinking of it, that's similar to the "classic bento rules", but with the amounts of meaty stuff and ricey stuff switched.
i now that's a lot of protein, but after all, we're all made of protein, not fat. that's just additional storage. some people apparently don't have that ability (or get it later on. or just get used to eating a little more over the years), but while sitting around and eating fastfood didn't make me any fatter, packing bento boxes that would have suited a health-crazy bodybuilder and doing 2x2h of very slight workout a week allows me to put on and keep weight quite easily.

btw chick peas are a great and interesting source of protein and come in very convenient tins. rinse with lots of water to get rid of any "tin smell". make a salad with some vegetables.. i love anything with honey in it as a sauce, for example corianderhoney/balsamico-vinaigrette with lots of olive oil and a little lemon zest ..hmm..i've still got some red bell peppers, gotta make some right after posting!

Madeleine20
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 13 Jan 2010
User offline. Last seen 3 years 29 weeks ago.
Re: Gain weight with bentos

Recently I took it upon myself to gain 5 pounds. It took about 2 months of eating an extra 500 calories a day. I'm OCD enough to keep track of my calories even when I'm not trying lose weight, so I knew exactly how much I needed to add. I just had my usual three meals a day plus another 500 calorie item. I usually ate nut butters, fruit, onigiri, rice, egg and avocado sandwiches, dark chocolate, sweet brown rice porridge with dates cinnamon and walnuts.

____________________________________

My flickr food photos account:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54728974@N05/

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

New forum activity since your last visit

Titlesort iconAuthorAnswersLast Post
Sesame salad dressing Supertaster91 year 6 weeks ago
Authentic paella? maki101 year 7 weeks ago
IMPORTANT: If you have a blog on JustBento... maki21 year 10 weeks ago
Shiso - uses for this herb Loretta01 year 12 weeks ago
Fuki (Japanese Butterbur) Tsukemono Recipes kumo51 year 12 weeks ago